Part 2: Marriott Category 3 Hotels in the U.S. Book Now or After August 1?

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Marriott Category 3

THE WESTIN LAKE LAS VEGAS RESORT & SPA –17,500 POINTS AFTER 08/01

PART 1: Marriott Category 1 and 2 Hotels in the U.S. Book Now or After August 1?

Marriott Category 3 hotels in the U.S. are a mixed bag. In some cases, you will find improvements after August 1, in others, well – act fast.

Marriott Category 3 hotels: 17,500/70,000 per 5 nights

Case in point: Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown.

Marriott Category 3

FOUR POINTS SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN — 17,500 POINTS AFTER 08.01

This is a solid SPG Category 3 property in a city where the words “cheap” and “downtown” don’t normally mingle. As a Category 3 hotel in a very good (although not great) location, it’s more often than not worth the 7,000 Starwood points per night price tag. After August 1, it’s going down from 21,000 to 17,500 points, or, divided by 3, ~5,830 SPG points. That’s a great improvement, actually.

Speaking of San Diego, if your kids are Legoland fans, you might enjoy TownePlace Suites San Diego Carlsbad/Vista north of San Diego. After August 1, it’s also going down from 21,000 to 17,500 points.

On the other hand, 2 cheap Santa Fe, NM hotels are going up from 15,000 to 25,000 points. While I’ve never visited Santa Fe, I’ve only heard good things about this fascinating city. Sure, these hotels aren’t JW Marriotts, but each is about a 15-minute drive to the historic center, so if you’re planning on visiting, book now. The sooner the better, so that you’ll have a lot of time to cancel your reservation without a penalty if your plans change between now and then.

BOOK NOW before the price goes up on August 1, 2018

Courtyard Santa Fe

15,000

25,000

10,000

Fairfield Inn & Suites Santa Fe

15,000

25,000

10,000

Speaking of cities I’ve never visited…

I’ve never been to Boise, but, according to this cheeky article, “Boise is #2 on Lonely Planet ‘Best in U.S.’ list.” So you’ll be glad to know that all Boise properties, including downtown hotels will be in Marriott Category 3 list after August 1. Yay!Marriott Category 3

As you can see, 2 of them are going up, and 2 are going down, so act accordingly.

  • RED: WAIT! Book AFTER August 1, 2018
  • GREEN: Book NOW before the price goes up on August 1, 2018

Courtyard Boise Downtown

15,000

17,500

2,500

Residence Inn Boise Downtown/City Center

20,000

17,500

-2,500

Residence Inn Boise Downtown/University

20,000

17,500

-2,500

TownePlace Suites Boise Downtown

15,000

17,500

2,500

What else? If you find yourself in dire need of a change of scenery after losing a few hands in Las Vegas, retreat to another Marriott Category 3 hotel — The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa “where the only item on your itinerary is relaxation” (moving down from 21,000 to 17,500 points after August 1).

By the way, speaking of gambling…

Those of you who (unlike me) don’t belong to the “northeastern elite” may not care about the fact that Atlantic City has a Jekyll & Hyde personality. It can be astonishingly cheap on the weekdays, but weekend hotel rates in AC are nothing short of extortionate. As an SPG Category 3 property, Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel can mitigate that injustice. It’s a reasonably classy hotel just a stone’s throw away from the boardwalk, and it’s always been available to me for 7,000 SPG points, even when its cash rates soared into the high $300s. Unfortunately, on August 1, it’s moving up a category, from 21,000 points to 25,000 points. Can still be a decent deal, considering the alternatives, but if you’re planning to visit this summer, consider booking now.

Speaking of the East Coast: if you promised your kids some fun at Six Flags Over Georgia, SpringHill Suites Atlanta Six Flags is moving down from 20,000 to 17,500 points. Just come over the day before and be the first in line at the opening.

And speaking of kids…

I put 19 cheap Orlando area Marriott Category 3 hotels you can choose from into this neat little table. You’re welcome!

  • RED: WAIT! Book AFTER August 1, 2018
  • GREEN: Book NOW before the price goes up on August 1, 2018

Courtyard Orlando Altamonte Springs/Maitland

15,000

17,500

2,500

Courtyard Orlando Downtown

20,000

17,500

-2,500

Courtyard Orlando East/UCF Area

15,000

17,500

2,500

Courtyard Orlando Lake Buena Vista at Vista Centre

20,000

17,500

-2,500

Courtyard Orlando Lake Mary/North

20,000

17,500

-2,500

Courtyard Orlando South/John Young Parkway

25,000

17,500

-7,500

Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando East/UCF Area

15,000

17,500

2,500

Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Kissimmee/Celebration

20,000

17,500

-2,500

Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Ocoee

20,000

17,500

-2,500

Four Points by Sheraton Orlando Convention Center

12,000

17,500

5,500

Residence Inn Orlando Altamonte Springs/Maitland

20,000

17,500

-2,500

Residence Inn Orlando East/UCF Area

20,000

17,500

-2,500

Residence Inn Orlando Lake Mary

20,000

17,500

-2,500

Sheraton Orlando North Hotel

21,000

17,500

-3,500

SpringHill Suites Orlando Altamonte Springs/Maitland

20,000

17,500

-2,500

SpringHill Suites Orlando Kissimmee

25,000

17,500

-7,500

SpringHill Suites Orlando North/Sanford

20,000

17,500

-2,500

TownePlace Suites Orlando Altamonte Springs/Maitland

20,000

17,500

-2,500

TownePlace Suites Orlando East/UCF Area

15,000

17,500

2,500

The SpringHill Suites Orlando Kissimmee (currently a Category 5 hotel) will drop 7,500 points after August 1. It’s “located 4 miles from Walt Disney World theme parks, 8 miles from Universal Orlando and SeaWorld,” and its pool area looks like fun, too.

Marriott Category 3

The SpringHill Suites Orlando Kissimmee “Zero Entry” Pool

And, of course, speaking of Florida…

Great news! 3 Downtown hotels in Tampa and St. Petersburg are going down in category, from 25,000 to 17,500 points. That’s really great news, because these cities offer tons of things to do.

WAIT! Book AFTER August 1, 2018

Residence Inn Tampa Downtown

Residence Inn

USA

25,000

17,500

-7,500

Courtyard Tampa Downtown

Courtyard

USA

25,000

17,500

-7,500

Courtyard St. Petersburg Downtown

Courtyard

USA

25,000

17,500

-7,500

And finally, I listed a bunch of Jacksonville hotels in my previous installment, but, for what it’s worth, Fairfield Inn & Suites Jacksonville Beach is 1 block away from, well, the beach. And it’s going down from 25,000 to 17,500 points.

Just to reiterate once again – always check the cash rates (plus tax) of a hotel room before booking a rewards stay. They fluctuate widely during the year, so please don’t presume that redeeming a low-cost reward is always a great deal. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Next: Best Marriott Canada Cat. 1-3 Hotels

So, have I missed anything worthwhile? I might have, but we’ll never know for sure unless you tell me. What other new Category 3 Marriott hotels are worth our attention?

Boise Photo Credit: by Alden Skeie on Unsplash

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